Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • The Cascade in the Groves at Ambleside
ca. 1786/08
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image height 376mm,
  • image length 265mm
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; 1997 Tate catalogue (image)


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it passed to Towne’s residuary legatee John Herman Merivale (1779–1844) and his successors. Merivale’s granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP142) and gave it in the same year to Paul Oppé (1878–1957; no.897, which gives the year as 1919), whose descendants sold it in 1996 with the rest of Oppé’s collection to the current owner, the Tate Gallery (T08262). The name “Rose Merivale” is written on the back of the drawing. As it was given to Oppé as early as 1915, it is more likely that this refers to John Herman Merivale’s daughter Rose Mary Merivale (1823–1902) than his great-granddaughter Rosamund MacBrien (née Merivale), then only two or three years old.

Associated People & Organisations

Tate, London, 1996, T08262
Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957), London, 1915, no.897
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP142
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP142
[?] Rose Mary Merivale (1823 - 1902)
The name “Rose Merivale” is written on the back of the drawing
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
unidentified exhibition, Institute of Art Research, 1929, no. 14
76th Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1949, no. 18
Early English Drawings and Watercolours from the Collection of Paul Oppe Esq., Graves Art Gallery, 1952, no. 72
Exhibition of Works from The Paul Oppe Collection, Royal Academy, 1958, no. 86
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 58
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920, pp. 121-122
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 95-96, 145


This is one of four studies of Stock Ghyll Force, behind the Salutation Inn at Ambleside.

by Richard Stephens

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